We’ve waved goodbye to October, the unseasonably warm weather and Pumpkin Spice Lattes. In my book, this last month has been pretty eventful and I’m about to tell you all about it. As I’ve mentioned before, anxiety can amplify the negative moments, so I think it’s about time to place the positives on center stage.
I’m not one to draw attention to my achievements. I tend to play things down and much prefer to be the underdog than the front-runner. But in hiding the hurdles I’ve surmounted or the challenges I’ve overcome, I suppose I don’t give myself the credit I deserve. Because for people like me who suffer from anxiety, jumping a foot is the same as winning an Olympic gold for high jump.
So, I’ve decided at the end of each month to compile a list of things I have achieved, enjoyed or experienced in spite of my anxiety. I want to remind myself that I am more than just an ‘Anxious Annie’and hopefully show others how important the smallest of feats can be when your mind is more ‘maze’ than mindful.
My anxious achievements – October
1.I traveled solo to London. I might have managed to get lost on the straight stretch of road known as Oxford Street. But, I successfully navigated the buses, tube and learned that you underestimate a Boris Bike at your peril.
2. I interned at one of my favourite magazines. During my month-long internship at Stylist magazine I got a real taste of the career I’m working so hard to achieve. The whole experience was everything I hoped it would be. I got to imagine myself living the London life, I met some incredible people and succeeded in seeing my work in print. I can honestly say that for a short period of time I lived my dream.
3. I discovered tomato and basil lentil chips. No other crisps come close.
4. I survived working on reception. Being a receptionist and having anxiety can be a recipe for disaster, but I conquered my fear by answering phones, replying to emails and helping people face to face. This was a big win for me.
5. I was shortlisted for the The Bauer Media Award for Outstanding Consumer Journalist 2016. Having struggled with self-confidence, I often question whether I am cut out to be a journalist, so this was just the boost I needed. It was a fantastic evening catching up with my former course mates and although I didn’t win, they gave out free bottles of wine, which is practically the same thing.
6. I attended a blogging masterclass by About Time magazine, which gave me the tools and the push I needed to start this very blog. It was such an interesting morning listening to industry insiders, Angelica Malin, Laura Hyatt and Laura Hemmington share their advice. The gluten free strawberry pancakes and complimentary champagne were added bonuses.
7. I went on a quest around London to find my sister the best possible 18th birthday presents. The showstopper was a customised Hairspray poster. Having listened to her practice all the hit songs since 2007, and seeing her win the school talent show with “I Know Where I’ve Been” it seemed fitting to finally put her name up in lights.
8. I went to see an old friend perform in Mamma Mia on the West End stage. My friend and I met for an early dinner at Zizzi before heading to the theatre to find Felipe had hooked us up with the best seats in the house at discounted mates’ rates. The Dress Circle quite literally shook as we got a little over-exited to see a friendly face become a star.
9. I got to meet Cherry Healey at Stylist Live. Being such a big fan of Find my First Love, I had to meet its presenter in the flesh, and what a lovely lady she is. She made me feel at ease, like I was talking to a friend, and told me how nice of a sibling I was for sacrificing a signed copy of he latest book for my sister. Listening to Tanya Burr and Mel C‘s talks were the icing on the cake.
10. I discovered Shoreditch and Brick Lane. Known for their quirky corners and independent businesses, I spent a Sunday admiring the colourful artwork, unique boutiques, bookshops and coffee stops. The scents of multicultural dishes and the hidden gems nestled in the side streets made for an interesting afternoon in the East End.
11. I visited an independent cinema. Picturehouse Central in Piccadilly Circus was the most beautiful building and the perfect place to watch the latest flicks. Offering reclining velvet seats, it was a lovely mix of old Hollywood glamour with a modern twist.
12. My sister turned 18. It was wonderful to get all of the family together. My grandmother’s cousins came for a sleepover, I introduced the gang to my staple drink, Disaronno and Coke and my sister left her own party early for a less-civilized affair. And that was only night one. Saturday brought with it an inflatable crown, a few unstable teenagers and a dislodged toilet. Classic.
13. I tasted the best tapas in London. I challenge anyone to find cuisine that tingles the taste buds quite like Barafina.
14. I dined out alone. After a long day in the office I was seriously craving some pasta. I had the difficult decision to make between sacrificing the carbs or choosing a table for one. I chose a table for one. The stars seemed to align as I discovered a £20 Tesco voucher in my handbag. I ordered the porcini giganti tortelloni, a side of broccoli and the baked lemon and raspberry cheesecake. Thanks,Tesco.
15. I met up with my best friends. It was so nice to meet up with some of my girl gang who I hadn’t seen in such a long time. It’s a pretty incredible feeling when you finally find your tribe.
16. I caught up on a guilty pleasure. I absolutely love TLC’s 90 Day Fiancee. American reality TV really does take it to the next level and makes for irresistible viewing.
17. I was reintroduced to my favorite festive drink. I used my Starbucks card to get VIP access to my first eggnog latte of the season. Christmas is now officially here.
18. I appreciated home comforts. After a month of being a city slicker, it’s nice to be back in Cardiff. Being away has made me realise how much this city feels like home. It’s been nice to relax, catch up on crappy TV and enjoy a little me time before I set the wheels in motion to return to the Big Smoke.
What have you achieved this month?